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House Freedom Caucus plots go back to relevance as GOP eyes majority

THE HOME Freedom Caucus is indeed far refusing to back GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) for speaker should its party regain almost all testing what commitments it could leverage in trade because of its members’ support.

Why it matters: The ultra-conservative group, which includes a history of dislodging Republican leaders whom members didnt see as properly representing the conservative movement, is plotting a go back to relevance after years of seeing its influence fade.

  • If Republicans regain the home majority with tight instead of wide margins, it might supply the caucus more power.
  • “If youve got 30 votes in a narrow majority, you could be influential,” said Rep. Ken Buck (R-Colo.).

Driving the news headlines: The group’s chairman, Rep. Scott Perry (R-Pa.), along with other members are pushing for the GOP conference to vote on a fresh House rules package before electing the brand new leadership.

What they’re saying: Perry told Axios “it is a different game” whenever a party is in almost all, in comparison to when theyre in the minority and totally unified on opposing another party.

  • “Everybody’s in the Freedom Caucus at this time on the Republican side,” he said. “That’ll change if you are in almost all. Somebody needs to be the conscience of the conference and also do the items we said we were likely to do on the campaign trail.”
  • For aligning behind McCarthy, Perry said: “Speak to me on Nov. 9.” For the present time, Freedom Caucus members have adopted the official stance of neutrality in leadership elections, Buck told Axios.
  • In another phone interview, Perry said the caucus has heard from “lots of [candidates] that are looking to stay the Freedom Caucus, in the united states in these open seats. We think thats an excellent sign.”

Between your lines: There is a period when HFC members were the leaders of the proper not only in Congress, but over the conservative movement all together.

  • Their actions which frequently served as a check up on party leadership and the GOP establishment overall largely dictated conservative messaging and activism.

However the group’s star power has weakened recently for key three reasons:

1. The minority: House Republicans have already been more unified and less involved with policymaking decisions within their last four years in the minority.

2. Donald Trump’s rise: The caucus was once seen as the beacon of the proper, but was overtaken in 2016 by way of a larger-than-life figure who preached most of the same ideals and principles.

3. Leadership shakeup: Former Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) and Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) original co-founders of the Freedom Caucus were after the frontmen.

  • But Meadows left Congress in late 2020 to become Trump’s chief of staff, while Jordan has since landed an area within House Republican leadership.
  • Jordan has already endorsed McCarthy for speaker, telling Axios that McCarthy did a “great” job and been more unifying than some previous leaders though he acknowledged “it’s simpler to do if you are if you are in the minority.”
  • After Trump took office, Jordan said HFC shifted its focus from passing legislation to fiercely defending Trump.

What things to watch: Some members desire to adopt more scorched-earth tactics toward President Biden.

  • Rep. Bob Good (R-Va.) told Axios he really wants to “force this president to sign bills that could rescind a few of the harm” of Democratic policies and “shut it down if necessary. Gridlock is an excellent thing when compared to alternative.”

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